tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 3, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
north so that's the way the smoke is going. that's the way the embers are going. >> glancing down at my notes from kabc they are reporting the red cross has established a shelter. we'll keep an eye on it. crazy, huge smoke. chad meyers thank you very much. now hour two. top of the hour. thanks for being with me. we're keeping an eye on the urgent situation inside of syria. david petraeus is just next door in turkey. thousands of syrians looking for safe haven there as the regime is targeting their own people. our senior international correspondent robertson is on the border. we'll take you to him in a moment, but first this. >> it labor day.
hopefully not too many you have are having to labor here. it's also the unofficial start of the campaign season. that's how it's been in the past. i want you tyke a look here. this is mitt romney. he's spending the day like most of you just hanging out. romney took his boat for a spin on new hampshire's lake. no public event scheduled for mitt romney this week. he has debate preparations happening in private. president obama labor day in toledo. he spoke within the past hour. he talked about his party's convention this week. he critiqued the tampa republicans. he said mitt romney whiffed last week at his convention on the subject of creating new jobs. take a listen. >> when governor romney had his chance to let you in on the secret sauce of job creation, he did not offer you a single new idea. it was just a retread of the same old policies that have been sticking it to the middle class for years.
>> president obama in toledo earlier today. he is expected to arrive in charlotte, north carolina on wednesday. i want to go to joe johns. he's there right now. hopefully a little cooler than in tampa. hopefully no storms for you. where are you joe and what's happening behind you? >> reporter: this is the intersection of trade and trion. it's a big party. carolina fest. nothing happening on the stage directly behind me. the next big act we expect to see this hour is jeff bridges. the oscar winning actor and his band the abiders. we saw them at sound check. doing great job. the crowd will be looking forward to that. >> music aside, mr. johns, let's talk about the president. president won north carolina in
2008. it was a huge victory for him. a democrat winning a state in the deep south. i want to show this. there's a poll showing north carolina now leading mitt romney. romney leading north carolina by four points. our own polling shows north carolina is pretty much even stephen. my question is does the obama campaign expect to bounce in north carolina by virtue of having the convention in charlotte and why is the convention there in the first place? >> reporter: well, i think that's the reason they put the convention here because the president and the democrats know they need north carolina. they know he won four years ago. they also expected it to be very much in play. i think those polls reflect the challenge of mitt romney ahead by four points. the cnnorc poll not too long ago showing it a dead heat. there you go. they expect the state to be in
play. they hope that this convention will give them the boost they need in the tar hill state. >> finally, just what is the protocol on which party goes first or second in terms of holding conventions. you would think the being the latter convention is add advantageous. >> reporter: the party of the president goes first. the party that does not control the white house -- the party of the president goes second. the party not in control of the white house goes first. that's why the democrats are going second. you're right. a little bit of an advantage there. i hope they can get a boost coming out of this going straight into election day. we'll see what happens. >> let us know when the party gets rolling along there at the carolina fest. thank you. one question a lot of people are asking is this, are you better off than you were four years ago? this question getting all kinds of attention on the campaign trail after comments from
democrats just over the weekend. some of whom struggled to anxious the four year question on television. the economy is a top issue for voters and the august jobs repor reports comes out this friday. >> let's start with jobs. 7.8% when the president took office. it spiked to 10% and is back down to 8.3%. both of these numbers too high. both mean you feel uncomfortable about your job situation but it's an improvement from the worst levels about the great recession. this is how jobs growth looks every single month. 818,000 jobs were lost when the president took office. this loss of jobs was very serious and very dangerous in the economy. tried to get some momentum here and now it's been about two years of steady but not spectacular jobs growth. the most recent month, 163,000 jobs were created. home prices a real important gauge for how you feel.
there was a uble dip lower in home prices. you have stabilization when the president took officer the median price $175,000. it's now up to 185,000. that double dip in home prices looks like it's over and the housing market while not robust is stabilizing. finally, let's talk about our national debt. this is the debt as the size of our economy. it was 54% of the our economy in 2009 when the president took office. as we tried to get out of that horrible crisis the spending exploded. 2011, 67% of the size of our economy. by 2012, 72.5%. a lot of different reasons but the biggest driver there tax cuts, lots and lots of tax cuts that began back in 2001. the president was also cutting taxes for the middle class as well. thank you.
would you like to know what it's really like to experience the dnc from the inside? tomorrow at noon you can join wolf and cnn's political team online for the cnn election roundtable. they did this last week in tampa. it was so successful. submit your question and get answers in realtime during our live chat. where do you go? go to cnn.com/roundtable. more news developing on this labor day. take a look. as more die in syria, an american journalist disappears and now we're getting word the syrian regime may have him. i'm brooke baldwin. the news is now. tourists on edge. wuj of amerine of america's mos popular landmarks warns of an outbreak.
a prince scale a skyscraper. 6:30 we want to be at the dinner table and i want to be helping with their homework. >> cnn gets extraordinary access inside the white house. you'll see a preview of tonight's documentary. my volt is the best vehicle i've ever driven. i bought the car because of its efficiency. i bought the car because i could eliminate gas from my budget. i don't spend money on gasoline. it's been 4,000 miles since my last trip to the gas station. it's pretty great. i get a bunch of kids waving at me... giving me the thumbs up. it's always a gratifying experience. it makes me feel good about my car. i absolutely love my chevy volt. ♪
austin tice travelled to syria to share the rebels perspective but two weeks ago silence. no one has heard from him. no one saw him. the u.s. state department says it's working to confirm reports of his capture by the syrian government. his family has released this statement. austin is our precious son and we beseech the syrian government to treat him well and return him safely to us soon possible. end quote. in his hometown of houston dozens gathered in the peaceful protest to call for his safe return. one protester called him an american hero saying he left the safety of his country to show the atrocities happening. syrians are getting out of their country by the thousands and
getting out whatever way they can. turkey, iraq, jordan, lebanon. it's creating crisis along these borders. turkeying is bearing the brunt of it all. more than 80,000 registered there. close to 229,000 refugees have left syria since the uprising began and nic robertson is on turkish borders. >> reporter: some of the cars have been packed out with clothes, possession, suitcases, blankets stuffed into the kars. we've seen mattresses tied to the roofs. every space taken up by baggage or people getting out of the country. on the other side of the border about a few hundred meters away there are about 4 to 5,000
families living in the open waiting for an opportunity to come in. they are building three more camps. they say those will be ready in a couple of weeks. they will be able to house about 30,000 people. however, already inside turkey there are about 17 to 20,000 people living in schools, living in government buildings. the schools go back in a couple of weeks and the government will need to pry yioritize those new camp spaces. they will be two-thirds full by the refugees inside turkey. the concern is that many, many will come. that is tents on the other side of the border. more free syrian army members on the other side of the border. about 50 kilometers, a bombing
before we move along and talk gas prices, this is a sneak peek. this is the first lady in charlotte. as soon as she steps on the that stage we'll bring you more live pictures and bring in wolf blitzer. she's speaking tomorrow night in primetime. let's talk about those gas prices setting a record high this labor day making a tough situation for a lot of you travelers on this holiday, but is there good news ahead? let's hope so. alison kosik joins me. will we see a drop any time? >> relief should be on its way soon. the reason we've been seeing gas prices go up is we've had a lot
of these short term problems. the biggie is hurricane isaac last week. most of the refineries had to shut down or cut back on production. the down time kept the process of making gasoline happening. it was more of a supply and demand issue. other factors pushed prices higher as well. one oil analyst says that prices could wind up dropping 20 cents over the next month. that coming from tom clossa. the faster these refineries can get up and running, the better. one other thing by september 15th, refineries should be switched to the less expensive winter blend. we could see gas at $3.25 a gallon by december. >> how about jobs? we've been adding jobs for two
straight years but what kind of jobs? >> the problems with the jobs being added is most are low wage positions. these are hard to live on and pay your bill. do you pay the medical bill or the electricity bill? there's a study that says 58% of jobs created over the past two years are low-paying jobs. this is pay of $13.83 an hour or less. these are jobs in retail and food preparation. waiters and waitresses. to be fair these low wage jobs have been growing since 2001 long before the recession hit. you know what, it still adds to the argument that we're seeing this rise in income inequality. the recession made it worse because the higher paying jobs are not just growing. they are not coming back as quickly. you look at finance jobs, they are at the pre-recession levels because the industry isn't back to normal. people aren't borrowing much. i want to leave you with a bit of a bright spot. we're seeing gains in
manufacturing and health care and transportation. without those jobs the recovery would be more unbalanced. >> we have more numbers to talk about on friday. alison kosik, thank you. we showed you cnn's fascinating documentary on mitt romney. now it's turn for the president. we got access to the main players, including this guy. >> two months before a major election in 2008, do the democrats tell george bush this is your banking problem, not ours. i remember being in the room until 2:00 in the morning negotiating with hank paulson. >> we'll give you a preview, next. [ thunder crashes ]
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this is the eve of day one of the democratic national conventi convention. she's speaking tomorrow. any of these speakers whether they're the president, vice president, former president or the firstlady they like to go through and check the podium height and see how the stage is set before their big speaking appearance. as soon as we see her on stage doing that, we'll bring it to you live. you know the democrats are set to launch the convention here and just in time because we have this up close look for you at the candidate for re-election, president barack obama. we're calling it obama revealed; the m the man and the president. with me is jessica yellen. i'm excited and got the dvr set. tell me what i'm going to see tonight. >> reporter: we decided to take a look back over the last flee and a half years of the big moments of the presidency to
help people get a better understanding of how president obama has been as a leader and a little bit more about who he se as a man. we found he is one of those people voters felt they knew better as a candidate and then when he became president they weren't sure they knew him as well. took a little closer look at him to help people understand who he is. >> in doing so you interviewed him. you asked him about something we hit upon last hour. that really being his reputation as being a loner. some say sta offish. tell me about that. >> reporter: the title is very literal, the president, the man. one of the questions i asked him about is this reputation he has as being cool and aloof. we look at whether that has helped him or hurt him or both in office. i asked him is it fair that this description of him is cool and how has it helped or hurt. here is part of his answer.
>> sometimes michelle and i not doing the circuit and going out to dinners with folks is perceived as us being cool. it really has more to do with us being parents. when we're in town here in washington, in the evenings, 6:30 we want to be at the dinner table with our kids. >> reporter: there's a lot more to that answer. there are a lot more opinions on whether or not his staying at home with the kids, if that's the whole story, has sort of hurt him in terms of his relationships on capitol hill and with some of the power elites in washington who could help him cut deals and we get into that and more in the documentary tonight. interviewed a lot of people and i hope you'll watch. >> sure. painting a big picture of the man, the president who barack obama is. we will be. you can watch obama revealed
he built his unification church into a religious and corporate empire that spanned the globe. the reverend sun myung moon died over the weekend. if you were around in the 1970s and 1980s you can't forget him. he's best known for scenes like there. look at these crowds. mass weddings in stadiums and arenas where he united thousands of couples who met just days or hours earlier. he claimed jesus christ came to
him and asked him and finish his mission on earth. some say his following numbered in the hundreds of thousands. he founded the washington times newspaper and reportedly had the worldwide sushi market cornered. his high level contacts didn't keep him out of trouble. he once served time for tax evasion. moon died of pneumonia in south korea. he was 92 years old. today dr. gupta talks to one man who has turned his love of agriculture into aqua culture or farming in the deep sea. >> our whole goal is to provide more natural, healthier environment for the fish. eight miles off the coast out in clear blue water the fish never see the same water twice.
it's high energy environment. the fish are constantly swimming. they are not couch powe tatoes. it's free of those harmful con tam con tam nantss that you see in the news. >> whoep you check out more of dr. gupta's interview on the next list next weekend on sunday, september 9th. now for some video we hasn't seen before. a prince scales down a skyscraper. we'll tell you why. charlotte its known for its big banks, sweet tea and these days football star tim newton. no one knows the city better than jay thomas. he's going to join us live from the cnn grill to tell us what to expect, next. [ male announcer ] it's a golden opportunity...
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andrew propelling down europe's tallest building. the 52-year-old we began down on the 87th floor this morning. here he is making it down 60 stories in 30 minutes. i think i would be taking my cool time. they raised nearly half a million dollars. north carolina, swing state in 2008. you know the story. obama won in an upset victory then. a swing state today in 2012. take a look at the numbers. these are the latest polls. mitt romney polling ahead of president obama. the state's 15 electoral votes are just as crucial as they were in 2008. i want to bring in jay thomas who knows charlotte so well. been there for 30 years. also jay, full disclosure, you are an obama supporter. >> yes. >> you liken this presidency to
a marriage which began with all the pomp and circumstance. the wedding, aka the election day. voters with so emotionally invested in hope and change. fast forward four years the honeymoon is still there. is that motional investment still enough for him? >> i think he's done everything he can do. i don't think anyone else would have done anything else differently. it is truly the honeymoon period is over. i'd like him to still be the president because i don't think we should change horses in the middle of this. i really worry and even here in charlotte, i worry about it. i wonder if his original core that was so excited are going to really vote for him and get out there and work for it. they're not going to vote for romney but are they really going to continue voting for him and letting him continue the agenda. you really have a choice here. either you want the very, very, very conservative white guys over here or you want sort of
the people that are more interested in what i think the country is going to look like in the future. i look at it as a clear choice and i still like what obama is doing and going to do in the future. i like him. >> of course. you like him. i know a lot of people like him. the romney folks and hearing from them it's like they are talking to these people that voted for barack obama, and they saying we recognize what you did. you were swept up in this allure of this man. four years later just about it's time for change. >> the wall street journal had this. in the 20th and 21st centuries, republican president out spent government funding by 8 to 10% over any democratic president. george bush quadrupled the education funding. they really have no history of this cutting and this austerity
that they walk about. if i was on welfare and had social security, if i was getting medicare, if i was getting anything from the government, if this guy paul ryan's plan comes in they're going to be a lot of people hurting and i really don't think the united states, i don't think people want to hurt as badly as it's going to take to put their plan into action. that's what i think. i always like to guy that has the printing press that makes the money. i like that guy. >> let's talk about your guy. you know charlotte. you know back in 2008 then senator, his campaign official has been quick to point out his convention speech in denver, who can forget that night. it sold out in 24 hours. we are four days out from the president's big speech. he's got this 74,000 seater stadium and they have no indication they're going to be able to fill it up. what does that tell you?
>> it ought to be bobble head night. they need to give something away. >> all seriousness. >> they were accusing cnn of standing in empty seats, the unnamed network of accusing you of making it look like romney didn't have people at his convention. i think no matter how many people show up here at the stadium, i don't think anybody will be talking about that within three days. how about if he take this occupy people and let them occupy the empty seats. i live in hollywood, cgi is there for a reason. god gave us cgi for a reason. >> let's not hope no cgi for either convention. i want to ask you about this hot topic. >> the camera men are all nodding yes. >> let me ask you about this question. it was ronald reagan who made it famous. the question being are you
better off than four years ago? it's hard for president obama to make that argument when you look at the unemployment rate. it's still extraordinarily. the economy is still running on fumes, jay. >> i really don't think obama has put the facts up. if you look up, i'd have blackboards and pointers everywhere. george bush lost 3.3 million joh jobs. he's put 3.4 million back to work. that's barely a percent of our population. i don't think you feel it. i think the regulations against the so-called bad guys that got us into this, they haven't taken effect yet. i think you're four years in, i don't know if you're married or not. four years in people start to smell differently and look differently and act differently. you still want to stay with them. >> the itch. >> you don't want to be away from them. you still love them but it's not as exciting in the beginning.
this is really hard work. i'd like it to continue until the end of his term. i also think that mitt romney is a nice guy, and i like that they said barack obama is a good man but not a good president. i like that that is starting to be said. >> how do you think that romance will go right there in north carolina come november 6th? >> i don't think obama carries north carolina. >> why? >> i think he carries charlotte. i think this is still the south. i think they would rather dislike him than like him. i also think you have a problem with conservative black churches, you have many people that are against abortion and against gay marriage. i think the future of this country is gay marriage and choice. right now there are people that are selling something for right now. the future looks more like barack obama's administration than mitt romney's administration. i believe the 21st and 22nd century of the united states is
not going to be two square white guys. i believe that. >> who are you most excited hearing speak this week? >> i can't wait. i want to hear obama speak. i hope that biden brings a chair up on stage and pretends he's talking to clint eastwood. that's all i hope. >> jay thomas. jay thomas. thanks for stopping by the cnn grill. enjoy it for me. >> the worst part of is i have boycotted chick fill a. i can't stand it anymore. my friends and i are going to hold hands and get a combo after that. >> have fun. >> thank you. it's one of america's most famous landmarks but know oyou similar tee park is warning toirss there's a deadly virus out there and it has a lot of folks on edge.
the huntavirus. four of those sickened stayed at the tent cabins of the curry village. i never heard of huntavirus. >> it's no mouse droppings and urine. it becomes airborne. people breathe it in. by the time they get to the hospital many are going to the icu. >> how common is this? >> you look back from 1993 to now it's only about 600 cases but not a lot. about half of those people die. that's really high mortality rate. >> what do you do to prevent this? >> what's interesting is you not only have to worry when you go to a camp virus, it's in their own home. look for holes and seal them up.
trap rodent, clean up food. don't leave it out an disinfect surfac surfaces. if you're visiting a cabin that hasn't been open for a while, open it up and air it out. give the mice a chance to come back. come back and spray disinif he can tants. >> are these kids or adults? >> it can be either. people with preexisting health problems might be at risk. with a 50% mortality rate everyone needs to be worried. >> for more stories head to cnn.com/empoweredpatient. tonight president obama visits louisiana in the aftermath of hurricane isaac. folks there are worried about a river cresting. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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here from extra special situation room with wolf blitzer. wolf, last time i saw you it was tampa. now you're in charlotte. it's really the super bowl for political junkies. i know we saw the first lady not too far from where you're sitting moments ago. >> she's here. she's here at the time warner cable arena, and she's doing some interviews, we're told, up h the sky boxes. there's a picture right now. these are live pictures. she's also checking ourt the place. she's giving her big speech tomorrow night, getting ready for the president, when he will do his acceptance speech on thursday night. so this is a lot of preliminary work going on. the democrats will have their opportunity to respond to the republicans at their convention in tampa last week. this question that ronald reagan used so effectively in 1980 against jimmy carter has been revived.
are you better off today than you were four years ago? ray gone got himself elected, defeated and one-term president jimmy krt carter. so we have the two chairs of the political parties, debbie wasserman schultz in the 4:00 p.m. hour. and we're going to go through this. is the country better off today, or was the country better off four years ago? so good, serious discussions coming up. all the other political news and the world wise news. we're not going to neglect that, even though we're here in charlotte. >> it's a good place for a convention. >> hey, wolf, ryan wrote a great piece in the "new yorker" about the relationship between president obama and president bill clinton. i don't know if you had a chance to read it. what normally would be the vice
president's spot to speak the night before the president, it's now bill clinton. what are your thoughts? >> well, bill clinton is clearly the most popular male president, male democrat out there. his wife hillary may be more popular, higher favorability numbers. she's the secretary of state. she kpcan't even come here. she happens to be indonesia as we speak right now, so she's not coming here. i just tweeted this earlier. maybe four years down the road she'll be at the democratic convention. but that's another story. bill clinton is very pop popular. he will certainly help president obama get reelected. h jobs creation issues. and i'm sure he'll deliver a powerful speech on wednesday night. normally the vice president does that on wednesday night, but biden is gipg to be speaking thursday, as is the president of the united states at the big
football stadium. we're now here in the basketball arena. so that's why bill clinton is here. an you're absolutely right. ryan was terrific. it underscores one strain relationship between bill clinton and barack obama, but it's clearly gotten better. >> wolf, thank you. we'll see you in a couple minutes from charlotte. you see obviously political folks but you also have actors and actresses and musicians. it's the dude. it's jeff bridges. take a listen. ♪ ♪
♪ >> jeff bridges in charlotte. want to talk, though, about the gulf region. wee can really now only watch and wait. people living in tamiami parish are preparing for more flooding. in just that few hours president obama will get a first-hand look at the cleanup the there. he'll tour areas where isaac's storm surge pushed waters over the lakes. cnn i-reporter says floodwaters aren't the only issue facing people living in louisiana. >> alligators.
problem here. this is the fourth one they've caught on our block today. that's what it's like after the storm. >> so alligators. floodwaters. the pearl river. >> mosquitos. >> skeeters. when is it expected to crest? >> that's the thing. there's a lot of water that didn't just fall on louisiana. it fell on arkansas, missouri, mississippi. and eventually if it didn't soak in, it has to get down to the gulf of mexico. this we was a problem all week long. there's a lock that stops water from going in, but well they had to open the lock to let pressure out because the water was going around in the dirt. they thought maybe the erosion was going to take the entire lock and push it away. then all the sudden you lose the
lock and you lose the ability to hold the water back. >> what are you showing? >> here's new orleans. here's the river valley. here's what we're worried about. the big purple squares are where the rivers are now in major flood stages. here's the river. here's the lock, right there. the water was going around the lock on this side. if you erode the dirt, all the sudden you deponent have pressure here. you can lose the entire lock. and sidell you're going to get flooding. on up here there's neighborhoods here and here. three or four feet of water here. two feet of water really does an awful lot of damage, no matter what, in any house. and here's the i-10 where you can shut it down a little bit to see if that goes up to 21 feet, the current forecast crest is 19.5, and so therefore they would not have to shut down i-10 at that point for a 19.5 foot
surge. >> so i just want to throw this at you. i was reading about one of the positives, if you will, from all of this rain from the storm is we've been talking so much about the farmers in the middle of the country, and it rained and rained for them. >> you would love to think that helped the corn, but the corn is already done. the corn didn't develop. just because you add a little bit of rain to undeveloped corn, doesn't mean it will come back. didn't pollenate. 1% excellent. 21% good to excellent. very little good corn crop. if it was already excellent, then that helped. the rain did help. but unfortunately where it rained, the corn wasn't excellent. >> that's unfortunate. just because i see it behind you. democratic national convention. the forecast, do i see rain? >> yeah. this moisture that was still isaac, i can't say where the center is.